Life as a family doctor

The Tinne family, about 1926. Left to right; Elspeth, Philip,
Ernest, Helen, Emily, Bertha and Alexine.

Philip Tinne began working as a general practitioner in 1907, having trained in medicine at St George's Hospital, London. He was very highly regarded in the Aigburth and Garston areas of Liverpool and was well loved by his patients who remembered him in later years as a very kind and understanding GP.

But, as he wrote to his son Ernest, in 1933, while giving him career advice,

"I was not destined for a doctor at first and merely became one to earn a living. The advantages of a doctor are

1. You are never out of work, except through ill health
2. You have a fairly good social position

The only other consideration is whether the work is distasteful."

In fact, he had originally wanted to become a museum curator but was warned against it by his own father because it did not pay well enough.

Philip often mentioned his work as a GP in his letters, sometimes commenting on how tiring it could be, especially when he was called out to assist patients in the night. Despite this, he retained a sense of humour about his profession. In a letter of 1925, he recounted how

"One of my patients, a man, died - his wife said to me 'I bought a bottle of whiskey for him, and just think, he only finished half of it'."

Such stories evidently did not deter his son, as Ernest also went on to become a doctor and a surgeon.